Monday, March 31, 2008

I was feeling under the weather when I woke up this morning, so I called in sick to work. I didn't do much of anything at all today other than sleep, so I'm feeling a bit better now. You know, I keep thinking I'm going to read something interesting in the news to blog about, but lately it's so boring and all about the election and it makes me feel like giving up reading the news all together!

Has anyone got anything interesting to share that doesn't have to do with Barack, Hillary, or McCain?

Sunday, March 30, 2008

We lost game 1 of our 3 game Championship series last night. We started the game with only 8 skaters but had a 9th show up shortly into the game. We were tied at 1-1 when our goalie made an unfortunate error costing us an easy goal. We trailed that goal for the remainder of the game and never scored again, losing 2-1. Despite the goalie snafu and our short bench, I felt we played a really strong game and have high hopes for us in the remaining two games. If the other team plays the way they did last night, I think there's a good chance we can still come from behind and win it all in the end. Our next game is Saturday. If we lose, we're out. If we win, we still have a chance. Rub your Buddhas for us.

Bean posted a Meme on his blog today and invited fellow bloggers to follow along which gets me off the hook for actually having to come up with something to write about today. Thanks, Bean!

Name one thing you do every day:

There are a ton of mundane, boring things I do everyday from brushing my teeth to wishing bad things will happen to George W. but I think my favorite is having some quiet time with my dog before bed. Since Wally was a puppy, we have always referred to this as "Mommy time" and he knows when I say that it's time to hop up onto the bed for a prolonged belly rub.

Name five things/people that make you feel good:

Well, Wally, of course.

, definitely. Ever since I was very young I've used reading as a form of escapism, and it's always an adventure to pick up a book and be immediately jettisoned into another time and place of someone else's design.

My oldest friend, Robert. It gives me great comfort to have had a friend for 28 years now who knows exactly what I'm thinking, sometimes even before I do.

It's rare that I walk away from hockey feeling badly (except for Kings games). There's something about stepping onto a fresh sheet of ice and feeling your skate blades cut through the surface, even at 6am when you're barely awake. I'm horrible at it, but I love it, and feel exhilarated despite often being completely out of breath and covered in sweat.

Music has always been an important part of my life and I listen to something I like every day. I've always found it somewhat magical the way a particular song can speak to you when you're in a certain mood, when you may have not ever seen that side of the song before.

Name four things you love to eat but rarely do:

My grandmother's lasagna. My grandmother has been gone for quite some time now, but my sisters usually make this at Christmastime. If I'm home, I eat a LOT of it. No one else's lasagna tastes quite like it.

Ditto my grandmother's cranberry bread. It also comes only at the holiday, and my sister, Dina, has done it for years in my grandmother's absence. Even if I don't make it home for the holiday, I'll usually get a loaf of it in the mail.

Steak. One of my favorite meals is a nice New York steak with garlic mashed potatoes. Unfortunately, because I have Crohn's disease, that much red meat can be hard on my system. I might only get to eat it once a year, but I savor every bite.

Captain Crunch Berries. What is it that makes this cereal so damn good, even though it tears the hell out of the roof of your mouth? Now that I'm adult, my cereals run more along the lines of Cheerios and Granola healthy stuff so I can't remember the last time I bought a box of these, but they're really good. (It's odd I would think so, since I have a not so fond memory of my sister throwing these up all over me in the car one morning when we were kids).

Name three things that remind you of childhood:

The smell of freshly cut grass (all those soccer fields) and Cheese Zombies. The latter is a sort of grilled cheese sandwich that is made with dough and cheese and cooked in the oven. They used to make them for lunch in Elementary School. I always beg Rob to make them for me when I'm in town but it never happens.

Name two things you wish you could learn:

How to shoot a proper slap shot. I have absolutely no slap shot to speak of. The fact is that I'm a forward and have little use for a slap shot. However, the fact that 10-year-olds seem to have no problem with is and I can't do it to save my life is really annoying.

I'd love to learn to speak another language fluently, probably Spanish since I already know some of it. In fact, I'd love to live in a non-English speaking country for awhile and get that experience.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

My old friend, Randy, called me this afternoon just to catch up. He brought up our friend, Carl, who died about 6 months ago, saying he felt like it was just finally catching up to him, the realization that Carl was dead. Or rather, as he put it, it wasn't that Carl had died that was hitting him, but the fact that he just was no longer available, that Randy couldn't simply pick up the phone and call him any more. It's a weird feeling when people die, the way it takes your mind a certain amount of time to really absorb the information. While I've known people who died before, they've usually been grandparents or parents of friends. Carl is the first person that died who, despite the age difference, had at one time been a part of my peer group when we worked together.

When I recently discovered an old friend I had lost touch with, I went almost immediately to British Columbia to see him. After I'd been there a couple of days, I asked him if he had wondered why I had come to visit so immediately after we'd gotten back in touch. He said he did wonder. And then I told him the story of Carl, how I hadn't talked to him for years and years because I knew we had a standing appointment on my 40th birthday and I knew he'd always be around...until so suddenly, he just wasn't anymore.

If anything, Carl's passing has come as a harsh reminder that none of us is getting any younger and that life is too short to wait for anything. I believe in the saying Carpe Diem, but it's so rare I find myself actually acting to that effect. I need to try to remind myself to do that more and more.

Friday, March 28, 2008

It's Friday, but unfortunately for me, my Monday. I'm still really tired from yesterday, but luckily, it was a light day at work. I have a hockey game tonight with my women's team, and then tomorrow night is game 1 in our Championship series (co-ed league). I think we're going to be really short handed for that game - it's probably a good thing that it's best of 3!

So, I tried to do something really nice today for a good friend of mine who has been going through a lot of crap. I thought it would cheer him up. The details aren't really germane to the story, but the point is that it sort of backfired on me. Sometimes, when I try to do something completely selfless for someone else, the other party assumes I must have some sort of motive in doing the good deed. Am I the only person this happens to?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I had to have a medical test done today (purely routine) - the kind where I haven't been able to eat anything but clear liquids since yesterday morning. I just got home. Man - am I hungry and tired! Time to find something good to eat then take a nap.

I wish I had something more exciting to write, but that's pretty much been the extent of my day.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

When I borrowed my friend's truck the other day to get my scooter, I didn't take into account that I would need to go to and from work with it before getting to the scooter. This wouldn't have been a big deal except for the fact that I take Wally with me to work on the weekends. I wasn't about to put Wally in the truck bed to get him to North Hollywood so he had to ride in the cab with me. The first thing he did when he got in was make his way over to the driver's seat and sit down, confused.

I explained to him that I would actually be the one driving and got him to reluctantly move over to the passenger side of the vehicle. I'd hoped that I could roll the window down and he'd just sit there with his head sticking out, but he'd have none of it. He was having one of those days where he was particularly uncomfortable on the drive. Instead of putting his head out the window, he turned around so his butt was facing the passenger side window and he sort of hunkered down in a leaning crouch against the rear of the truck bench seat. He then proceeded to nuzzle his head into my right shoulder so hard that he was pressing all 100 lbs of himself into I was driving. I kept trying to push him over, but then he wedged his head behind my shoulder, between it and the seat back, and proceeded to breathe heavily and slobber all over my shirt.

Needless to say, it was a complicated drive to work. I got to enjoy an encore of the same performance on our way back home from work. Why can't I have a normal dog who just enjoys the ride? Sigh. Happy Wally Wednesday everyone!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Since I played hockey last night and had to get up early to go to work this morning, I felt my ass dragging all day. TGIF, for me at least! I came home from work and went right up the stairs to bed and fell asleep for two hours. I guess I really was tired! My only plans for the rest of the night are to catch up on some Tivo, order a pizza, read a book, and then curl back up in bed with my trust dog by my side.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Last night, after taking care of all the scooter business, my friend Dean and I went out to grab a bite at the local Hamlet. I ordered a grilled chicken sandwich and Dean ordered a veggie burger. Our food came and we dug in. Dean took a big bite of his burger and I saw his eyes bug out - he didn't swallow - and with his mouth full, he said, "Umm..." and I said, "That's beef, isn't it?" Dean, a practicing 7th Day Adventist (and therefore Vegetarian his entire life) ran off to the restroom to spit the mean out. I grabbed the waiter on his way by and pointing at Dean's plate I said, "Um..that was supposed to be a veggie burger." The waiter blanched (which had to be hard because he was a big Hispanic guy) and said, "Oh my God, I'm so sorry! I'll have them make the right order right away!" and he ran off with Dean's plate. Dean was fine, he didn't flip out or anything. He took it in stride. When the waiter returned with the veggie burger, he profusely apologized again and told Dean his meal was on the house. Dean reassured him that it wasn't really that big of a deal, but the guy seemed to be nearly weeping. "I'm a vegetarian myself," he said, "so I'm sort of freaking out right now." I think the waiter took it a lot harder than Dean did and he got a nice tip because of it.

Today is my Thursday night and it feels like the longest week ever. I've had hockey games on 3 of the past 4 nights and the other night, I was running around getting my scooter. I'm looking forward to a long sleep tomorrow night.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Woo-hoo! We won our playoff game last night. The other team came out really hard in the first period. They really REALLY wanted to beat us. They scored the first goal in the first. We scored another to tie and they scored again before the end of the period. So, down 1-2 in the second, we scored 4 unanswered goals making it 5-2. We scored again in the third, and they scored once again with 1 second remaining. The final was 6-3. We now go into a best of three championship series starting next Saturday. Last summer we made it to the championship game and lost (there's only one championship game - not 3 - in the summer). Hopefully, we'll pull it out this season and win the cup (which they will let us touch for about 5 minutes before they take it back again).

Last night, I switched cars with a team mate so I could use his truck today to go pickup my scooter. I'm not sure what year his Toyota truck is, but I will say I didn't know they still made vehicles with manual everything. Manual transmission, manual seats, windows, and I think only one speaker working. Oh...and the best part was that the steering was not power steering. I've been getting quite a workout turning that wheel! The truck is actually in pretty decent shape inside and out - just all manual. Don't get me wrong - Tam's a great guy and really helped me out by loaning me his truck - I just didn't realize until I was shifting my way home last night what a car snob I have become. Yes, I'm embarrassed to say it but I appear to be a car snob. (This is where I hang my head in shame). I am, however, the owner of a 2007 Yamaha Vino 125 scooter! Yippee!

Now, I'm tired and full of a gigantic piece of chocolate fudge cake from The Hamlet and am going to bed.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Every time I see this commercial during a hockey game, I laugh. Every single time.

We have our playoff game tonight. Only one playoff game - if we lose, our season is over. If we win, we go on to play a best of three championship series. We made it to the championships last season only to lose in the last period of the game. Game time is 8:15 tonight, so skin a goat or light a candle or do whatever you would do to wish us good luck!

Friday, March 21, 2008

I stepped out of my windowless cave of an office this afternoon to walk up the street to the bank. I was surprised by how warm out it was, considering how cold it had been when I got up in the morning. When I left work, I think the thermometer on my car said it was 83. I have to admit, I love warm weather, but I hate cold mornings. I especially don't like cold mornings followed by warm days. (This is how I used to end up with 10 jackets in my locker at school - wear one in when it's cold, and forget it after school when it's warm). I'm looking forward to the day when I can sleep with my window open again and awake in a perfect temperature, neither shivering nor sweating. Unfortunately, that will only last for about 2 weeks before it turns the temperature of hell here in Southern California.

I saw this list on the internet today of the 10 most historically inaccurate films. I suggest reading the list - it's really funny, especially considering the high number of films involving Mel Gibson (though not Passion of the Christ, apparently). While most of the films made the list because of how wrong they went with history, I found the last one to be the most amusing:

2001: A Space Odyssey
According to this film, in year 2001 we would have had manned voyages to Jupiter, a battle of wits with a sentient computer, and a quantum leap in human evolution. Instead we got the Mir Space Station falling from the sky, Windows XP, and "Freddy Got Fingered". Apparently the lesson here is that sometimes it's better when the movies get the facts all wrong.

And because I particularly disliked this film, I this one made me chuckle as well:

This one movie has given entire Anthropology departments migraines. Sure the Maya did have the odd human sacrifice but not to Kulkulkan, the Sun God, and only high-ranking captives taken in battle were killed. The conquistadors arriving at the end of the film made for unlikely saviors: an estimated 90% of indigenous American population was killed by smallpox from the infected Spanish pigs.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Back when I was 19 and living in Olympia, Washington, a co-worker of mine used to ride a Honda Elite scooter to work. Since I couldn't drive a motorcycle, I thought riding a scooter would be cool, and on his urging, I bought a used one exactly like his. I moved to Portland shortly after that and kept the scooter for awhile to drive around the city with, but I soon discovered there was only a couple of months out of the year you could really ride a scooter there if you didn't want to ride it in the rain. It went into storage, and eventually I sold it to make some money when I went back to college.

For a few years now, I've been interested in buying another scooter. Mostly because it saves a lot of gas but also because it would be fun to ride it around Pasadena. When I visited B.C. recently, my friend had the same model I want to buy, and it reminded me of how much I've wanted one. I hit Craigslist and looked for a week or so before seeing an ad for a 2007 Yamaha Vino 125cc with only 250 miles on it for almost $900 less than what it would cost me to buy a new one. The ad listed the scooter as in Long Beach which is where I headed yesterday afternoon to test drive it. Except when I got the exact address, I realized it wasn't the part of Long Beach near the water, but the part of Long Beach that's about 2 blocks away from Compton.

Dark was falling when I arrived, and believe me, it was a quick test drive through the darkening streets of the hood. I loved the scooter and am buying it. Since I really don't want to ride it on surface streets for an hour and a half with no license or registration through bad neighborhoods, a friend and I are using a truck to go pick it up on Sunday. When I had my last scooter, nearly 20 years ago, I never bothered to get the proper license certification or any insurance to ride it. Now, I'm all grown up and realize what a bad idea that would be. Unfortunately, I have to get full motorcycle certification because of the ccs, so I need to get enrolled in a class soon. Maybe someday I will get a motorcycle...with a side car for Wally to ride in, wearing a scarf, goggles, and a leather helmet.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Welcome to Wally Wednesday! Here's Wally earlier this week thinking he hears Stryder outside:

And here he is realizing Stryder is not out there:

Speaking of Wally, he's been shedding like crazy ever since the weather began to turn warmer. I've often wondered if there's something productive I could do with all that dog hair and now I have the answer. This article shows how this British couple have knitted sweaters out of the discarded hair from their two dogs. Says 71-year-old Mrs. Willis, "It's actually not a hair, it's a wool, which is why it works so well for clothes." She knitted the first sweater in 1990 from the collected fur of her white Samoyed. Although the Samoyed died 12 years ago, the sweater made from her fur is still going strong. When the Newcastle couple's next dog, a Swedish Lapphund, died 6 years ago, Mrs. Willis was already at work on the 2nd sweater. The couple actually got the idea from their dog breeders. Apparently, this is "quite popular" with owners of long haired breeds. Mr. Willis says of his sweater, "It's very warm and virtually waterproof." Can you imagine what a sweater made of dog fur would smell like after coming inside from the rain? Eew.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Arthur C. Clarke, the science fiction writer who wrote "2001: A Space Odyssey" and a multitude of other works, died today at the age of 90. When I was much younger, I used to really enjoy science fiction. I still do, but not to the same degree. Clarke and Isaac Asimov have always been my favorite writers of that genre. Along with his numerous novels, Clarke has written several short stories as well, my favorite of which is entitled "The Star." It can be hard to find but is a wonderful read. It tells the story of a Jesuit Priest aboard a space vessel that has just discovered the remains of a dead world. The planet, knowing its demise was eminent, spent years and years ferrying examples that would show the best of its civilization to a sort of time capsule on the planet at the farthest fringe of its solar system. The cause of the end of their world was the explosion of their star, their sun, into a super nova. So they took all these things to this farthest planet in the hopes that, once the sun exploded, the last planet would remain. They then built a mile high monolith to attract the attention of anyone who would some day find them, as did our protagonist, this Jesuit Priest. The Priest, also a scientist, leads the excavation of the time capsule. There he discovers proof that the civilization that had been destroyed had been beautiful and at peace for 10,000 years, He weeps to think how much mankind could have learned from them. However, he learns something extremely troubling to the priest side of him, something that shakes him to his very core. After carefully calculating the time it would have taken for the light of the super nova to reach our own planet, he discovers this - that the star that exploded and annihilated this civilization was none other than the Star of Bethlehem. He can't reconcile how his god could have destroyed this peaceful world simply to announce the birth of his own son. you don't need to read it, do you? I always loved that story, and it's a sad day to say goodbye to such a visionary writer.

Anthony Minghella also died today. The director, known best for his work on The English Patient and Cold Mountain, died of a hemorrhage following an operation for cancer of the tonsils and neck.. He was only 54. I don't know what it is about 2008, but they're dropping like flies.

Monday, March 17, 2008

I don't have much to write today or the energy to write it. First off, the wind really kicked up here last night. So much so that I don't think I ever got more than 15 straight minutes of sleep at any time. Because of this, work was exhausting. With a couple of hours left, I started to get a headache which has now turned into one of the worst headaches I've ever had. I actually think I'm going to miss a hockey game because of it. I hope everyone else is having a better day than I am.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Wow, I'm tired. I haven't been any busier than usual, but over the past few weeks, I'm really having problems getting out of bed in the morning. Lucky for me, I generally don't have to be in at work early. However, on the weekends, I'd prefer to get in early-ish so I can finish and still have an evening. Both yesterday and today, I set my alarm for about 8 hours after I went to sleep, heard it go off and hit snooze...only to wake up again about 3 hours later. I'm also sleepy throughout the day. I'm really looking forward to those two weeks off this week, I'll tell you that. Wally and I will be sleeping lazily through the day.

I finally watched No Country For Old Men on DVD the other night. I had no idea what it was about when I turned it on (which is how I prefer to watch a movie). It sucked me right in and I was hooked for the whole ride. What a great, dark, messed up movie. If you haven't seen it, I recommend it. Josh Brolin comes across as I've never seen him and I thought he handled the role well. Tommy Lee Jones is always good. It was nice to see Woody Harrelson on the screen again. And Javier Bardem is one scary mother fucker. He really makes me want to stay away from anyone carrying around a portable air compressor.

I bought 4 books at the store last night - The Pact by Jodi Picoult (right up Kat's alley, I imagine), Crashing Through by Robert Kurson (the guy who wrote Shadow Divers), The Appeal by Grisham (I don't know what it's about, but I need to keep my collection complete), and Drama Punx by Noah Levine (which I stumbled upon).

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Oh, Atlas Shrugged...why does your interest elude me? I picked this book up about a year ago after hearing all my life that I should read it. I first part kept my interest as Dagny Taggart went about using the new Reardon Steel to build her railroad line. Like everyone else, I wanted to know if the metal would work. Well, now that saga seems to be finished, yet I am only 300 pages in, about a quarter of the way through the book. I stopped reading at that point to pick up the last Harry Potter book when it came out. Now, I find I only read Atlas Shrugged in the few days between when I run out of a book and when I find another one to read. I read it pages at a time, chapters at a time, and it feels like I will never, ever finish this book. I have rarely ever given up on a novel, no matter how bad it has been. Something in me always compels me to complete it. There have been some books that I just couldn't stomach any longer and quit in the middle, but I could count them all on one hand. So tell it worth the trouble to finish reading? Will it pick up again eventually? Because to be honest, I'm already tired of Dagny and Hank's rough and tumble a-typical sexual relationship. Whether of not I choose to finish reading Rand's book, I need to read something new. Anyone have any recommendations?

Friday, March 14, 2008

Today was going along just fine until I got home this evening. I'm in the process of changing over to a DSL internet connection at my home. AT&T said my line would be active on the 11th. So far, I've been unable to get the modem working. I finally had time to call them when I got home to see what was going on. I spent over an hour and a half on the phone, talked to 6 separate people, got disconnected once and had to call back. Each time I'd talk to someone new, they'd ask me to hold while they checked on something, and inevitably, another person would pick up the phone. Each time, that new person wanted my phone number, my name, and my problem all over again. Finally, the answer I received was that there was something wrong getting the line ready on that date and it's in the middle of being processed. Furthermore, AT&T would not give me a date that the line would be ready. The answer I got to that question was, "Engineering's working on it - they'll get it done when they can." Normally, I would assume this would mean it would be ready in the next 24 hours or so, except for the fact that Guy #6 mentioned something about APRIL! Guy #6 seemed to be very perturbed that, "It'll get done when it gets done," was an unacceptable answer for me. And the thing I love most about the giant companies these days is there's no ladder to climb with your complaint. I asked to speak to someone higher higher up and was informed someone would call me back. When I asked, "When?" The answer guessed it..."As soon as they get to it."

Oh...and the best part might have been when he told me he could, instead, get me hooked up with a DIAL UP ACCOUNT to fix the problem in the meantime. Grrrr.....

Thursday, March 13, 2008

We had a great hockey game last night, relatively clean and quite competitive. We needed to win that game to clinch the 1st place position in the division, which we did. I believe if everything plays out right, the team we played last night will be the team we play in the playoffs, which will be good luck for us. All 4 top teams that will go to the post season are strong, but this team should be the easiest for us to advance past. In the meantime, the two tougher teams will battling it out in the other playoff game. If anyone is interested in coming to the playoff game, it's on Saturday March 22. E-mail me for the time.

I have a couple of Apple computers, but the one I used the most for just about everything but video editing is my trusty 17" Powerbook G4 laptop. I love my laptop, and even though it's several years old, it still works great and I have no problems with it. Yesterday, an old friend IM'd me to tell me he had an Apple Discount he needed to use by the 14th. He didn't think he'd be able to use it by then and asked me if I'd like him to transfer it to me. The specific discount he had worked out to about 20% off the new MacBook Pro laptops, so I'm sure you know what's now on its way to me. It will be sad to say goodbye to the old G4, but I'm looking forward to playing with my new toy.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

It's been a beautiful day out today and a day off for me. Unfortunately, I've been stuck inside working on a side project all day. Wally is not pleased. I've left the front door open for him most of the afternoon so he can lay there and look longingly outside at the foothills, wishing he was on a long hike next to a stream.

This past weekend I had him at work with me. Sean, the guy in the camera/production room, is a good friend of Wally's. Halfway through my shift, Sean knocked on the door of my edit bay. When he opened the door, he was standing there holding a tupperware bowl in his hand. "Should I put some water in this?" he asked. I look at him a moment, a bit confused, then replied, "That's not my bowl." He started to laugh. Wally had brought it into the production room and was licking out the inside. Sean figured he must be out of water. After a little searching, we found the office he'd stolen the bowl from (they'd had a guest dog on Friday). Not only did Wally eat whatever was in the bowl, he'd gotten into the garbage and scraps of paper were all over the place. Additionally, he had eaten whatever remained of some pastries from Gelson's. The box was chewed up and empty on the floor.

I don't know what's gotten into Wally this year. He used to be so well behaved other than the rare doggie behavior. Now, he's doing stuff like this all the time. I guess he's finally figured out that we tend to find it cute, rather than getting angry.

Here he is, chilling in the production room with the guys:

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

As if it didn't seem cruel enough when Dancing With the Starts included Heather Mills, the one legged ex wife of Paul McCartney, in their dancing competition - the show has now announced deaf actress Marlee Matlin will be one of the show's next contestants. Matlin had never danced before - other than at the odd wedding or bar mitzva - but is now practicing 7 hours a day with her dance partner, Fabian Sanchez. According to the AP article I read (yes, this is news now) to help Matlin with "hearing" the rhythm of the music, "Sanchez has modified some of the dances slightly so he and Matlin maintain more physical or visual contact than they otherwise might. But even when she steps out solo, 'she's got a natural rhythm,' he said. 'She's on time every single time.'" Clearly, I'm not the person who would ever watch or enjoy this show. Not only do I despise any and all reality television and reality competitions, I don't particularly enjoy watching celebrities (or anyone for that matter) make a fool of themselves in public. And I'm not just talking about the one-legged or deaf celebrities - I mean any of them at all. I wonder what next season will hold in store? Perhaps Corky from Life Goes On will be competing, as well.

It was 87 degrees out when I ran to grab some lunch earlier today. The beautiful weather makes it extremely hard to stay in the house and work on projects instead of grabbing my bike and heading up to the mountains. I know I'll be complaining about the heat soon enough...

Monday, March 10, 2008

A friend sent me this link today for a company that does shoots and edits home and event videos. They have a video sample on their front page which is one of the funniest things I've ever seen. Unfortunately for all of us, they are all the way up in Kelowna, B.C. or I'd have them make a movie for me. It is quite possibly the best film making and editing I've ever had the pleasure of viewing. Have a look for yourself:

I threw my neck out playing hockey the other night and then slept too long last night, which resulted in an incredibly sore back and neck. I'm off to treat myself to a deep tissue massage at Amadeus Spa.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

We lost our second game of the season last night in OT. We have only three games left in a 20 game regular season. I guess the good news about our loss is that we played possibly one of the worst games we've played all season against the 2nd best team in our division and only lost by 1 in OT. Hopefully, this bodes well for us in the post season. The other good news is that our best player, Jeff, found out this week that he gets to stay in Southern California. His company was moving him to San Jose which would mean he'd miss the post season. Luckily, Jeff loves SoCal so he scrambled to find another job to stay here and finally signed paperwork this week for his new job.

Our regular goalie was out sick last night and this kid, Chris, filled in for him (Chris is 18). I met Chris several years ago when he was 14 or 15 and playing at the Pasadena rink (in the adult league, by the way). It's been interesting to see him grow into an adult and a stellar goalie. He competed in the Kings skills clinic recently and came out ranked one of the top youth goalies in the state of California and is now playing as a free agent in the ECHL. He'll likely be picked up by a Junior B team next season. He told me last night that he sometimes plays in net for the Kings employee games. These are games where the coaches, front office personnel, and some former players get together for a game. He's played against Mark Crawford, Marty McSorley and Daryl Evans. Chris told me that Evans, a former King and current play by play announcer, sometimes announces himself in third person AS HE'S PLAYING. By this I mean, as Evans came at him with the puck, Chris could hear him saying, "Evans breaks up the boards...curls to the inside...he's going for the goal...he shoots, he scores!!!" It makes me wonder if Evans announces himself in other areas of his life. "Evans heads down the hallway...though the door...unzips his fly...score!"

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Now that the writer's strike has ended and there's new programming on the air, my DVR is happy as ever. One of the new shows I've really been enjoying is Eli Stone. It's sort of like Ally McBeal minus the chicks and all the chick stuff (ie. When is the guy going to call Ally?). It takes place at a large law firm and centers around Eli Stone, a young attorney with a brain aneurysm that results in visions (often unclear) about what Eli needs to do to make matters right about something. This often results in big musical numbers. With law and musicals mixed, you would think they shared the same creator, but they don't. If you enjoyed the humor in the court cases of Ally, but could have done without all the romantic boy-girl stuff, you should check out Eli Stone.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Hey! Wally's famous!

I took this quiz on the internet today. It's designed to tell you which American accent you have based on your answers to short questions about word pronunciations. Here are my results:

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: North Central

"North Central" is what professional linguists call the Minnesota accent. If you saw "Fargo" you probably didn't think the characters sounded very out of the ordinary. Outsiders probably mistake you for a Canadian a lot.

The Midland
The West
The Inland North
The Northeast
The South
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

I took it a few times and always came up with this answer, with the exception of the time it said I have the Midlands accent (Wisconsin) and suggested I probably use the word "pop" (which I do when I'm home). While I have neither of these accents (at least not in the cartoony way you have heard them in movies), I can understand where they came to this result. This quiz tells you that your accent may or may not be of the area you're actually from (I grew up in the Pacific Northwest).

So...what kind of accent do YOU have?

Thursday, March 06, 2008

It's been a slow day today. Day off, but working from home. I'm also fighting yet another head cold, so I haven't accomplished nearly as much as I would have liked to. I'm finally calling it quits for the day.

I thought I'd share this randomly amusing video with everyone.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Welcome to Wally Wednesday! One amazing thing I've found to be true of my dog - no matter how big he may be, somehow, when he curls up, he can become very tiny, as seen in this photo:

Wally and I spent a quiet day at home while I worked on my side project. It was a pretty uneventful day, other than the trip I made to Ralph's to replenish my Diet Coke supply. This evening, I watched Letters From Iwo Jima (finally). I'd been wanting to see it since I saw Flags of Our Fathers months and months ago. I know this film was good if only for the fact that I wasn't annoyed by the fact that it was in subtitles. I love Clint Easwood as a director, though, so I sort of knew I'd like it anyway.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I called in to the Juror call center around 11pm last night and was notified I did, in fact, need to report to the courthouse this morning at 7:45 am. There are several different reasons why this sucked. First off, I had to work until after 1am, and since I needed to get downtown in the morning, I had to get up at 6am. On 4 hours of sleep (I'm a 9 hour person) I found the parking at the Disney Center, then was informed the walk to the correct courthouse was approximately 4 full city blocks away. I ran in the direction of the courthouse, made it through security and up to the juror waiting area on time. As I sat there, going through my paperwork, I noticed something. I had not followed or read the directions very well. I'd had my doctor fill out his portion of my summons back in January and was under the impression I had to report and show it to them. Not so - I could have mailed it in back in January.

I eventually got over to the right office where they accepted my doctor's note as not an excuse but as a deferment - they scheduled another date for me in September, 6 months from now. So I'm only off the hook for the time being. I was sort of hoping the note would get off for good for the year.

I turned around and headed home where I arrived around 10am. I took my clothes off as I walked up the stairs and fell right back into bed. I didn't wake up until 2pm. At that point, I felt totally disoriented (where am I?) and my body clock is off now (what time is it?). Now I'm at work until 1am.

On the upside, I heard today that my schedule may be changing in about two weeks. I'll tell you more about it when I know more.

Oh...and the Canucks lost to the Avalanche tonight for their third straight loss. (As a matter of fact, I don't believe they've won since I left Canada). They were tied 2-2 when someone from the Avs scored who had NOT SCORED IN 50 GAMES. Avs won 3-2. Sigh. I think I picked the wrong team to adopt to replace the Kings.

Monday, March 03, 2008

It's a beautiful day out today. Because of that, I've been unmotivated to work on the side project from home today. Instead, after taking care of a few errands, I drove into downtown to eat at one of my favorite places - Philippe's, home of the french dipped sandwich. It's a really old school place with long cafeteria style tables and sawdust on the floor. It's been there forever, just across Alameda from Union Station, and I can imagine 80 years ago, the place bustling to capacity with men in suits and hats. It can still get incredibly busy, with lines all the way to the back of the place, but it was rather slow when I got there to enjoy my sandwich. If you've never been there, I recommend checking it out. And don't forget to get your coffee for 9 cents!

My maid is at the house right now. I feel bad for her because there's enough Wally hair on the ground that I could scoop it all together and mold a whole new Wally out of it. She sort of even complained about the hair, and she's never complained about anything in 10 years, so I know she's grossed out. I am, too, knowing I've been living in it for the past two weeks. My motto is to just close my eyes and pretend it's not there.

Today was Day 1 in my jury call in. Thankfully, I did not have to report. Yet.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

I believe I've mentioned before how cold it can get in an editing bay. The temperature of the bays where I work varies wildly from room to room and even depends on the time of day. For instance, when I came in the morning around 10, the room was cool but not freezing. Then, around 2pm, the air conditioning kicked on. It is now freezing in here. I have a space heater on full blast about 3 feet from me, am wearing a hoodie with the hood up and pulled tight like Kenny from Southpark, wishing I had a blanket, gloves, and a toque. I hope it isn't this freaking cold for the rest of my shift which won't end until around 7, but based on yesterday, I know it probably will be. Thankfully, I have Wally here to cuddle with. I need to force him to lay on my feet.

I just saw this on the internet. Maybe everyone else has already seen it. I can't wait!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

The elementary school I attended was called Truman Elementary School, after the great Harry S. School colors: purple and white. Go Trailblazers! This was smack dab in the middle of the 70s, and the architecture of the school was completely open. At the time, I believe it was fairly unique. It was a big rectangle building with classrooms running the perimeter, and a sunken library in the center, a la Breakfast Club. The catch was that there really were no walls. The rectangle building housed 3rd-6th grades (K-2nd were housed in a smaller rectangle building on the grounds). Each grade had a corner room, plus the two classrooms on both open sides of that room. Roughly, three classrooms per grade. There was a separator between grades, but virtually nothing at all between the separate class rooms, and nothing between the classrooms and the sunken library. If you were in the 6th grade, you could stand up in class and wave across the building to your little brother in the 4th grade. I really have to wonder who thought it was a great idea to have an elementary school, of all things, without wall divisions. Basically, we couldn't be kids in there. We always had to talk with our "inside voices," and use "indoor applause" (done patting two fingers of one hand against two fingers of the other.

A couple of times a year for some special reason, the entire school would assemble in the library (I don't know why there instead of the gym), and we'd watch a movie - one actually projected onto a screen. It would usually be something like Freaky Friday (the original, of course), or Escape to Witch Mountain, better yet Return to Witch Mountain, or Napoleon and Samantha with Johnny Whitaker and Jodie Foster. They'd lead us in, one grade at a time, seated in rows on the floor, and while we'd wait for the projector to be set up, one of the teachers would lead us in a round of songs. I can't remember most of them but I do remember "If I Had a Hammer" and "Kum Bai Ya" (so much for that whole church and state division). Every once in a great while, when the entire school was assembled and singing, by some strange fluke, everyone would simultaneously hit the right note at the right time on the right pitch. In that fleeting moment, I always thought it sounded like angels singing.

Then I grew older and discovered that Angel was just a snotty girl on the playground who kept picking fights with me.

I can't remember what brought up this memory today, but it was something Rob and I were talking about (we both went to Truman together). It was up in the air. Either tell this story, or talk about the odd dream I had last night about being invited to skate in an NHL all-star camp. Maybe you can hear about that one tomorrow.